We Want to Give the Men of FarmHouse a Hand Up, Not a Hand Out, by Financially Supporting Them in Meaningful Ways
WHY I GIVE
Continuing the tradition of FarmHouse, remembering a loved one, giving back to something that changed your life…each day we hear a new reason you chose to make a gift to the FarmHouse Foundation. Share your reason by emailing us.
For Dallas and Brenda Powell, FarmHouse is more than a place where their son, Paul, spent his undergraduate years. It is a group of men who supported their son and helped them through one of the hardest times of their lives.
Growing up in Colorado, Paul Powell (CO 81) knew several men from his high school who joined FarmHouse at Colorado State University (CSU). It seemed like a good fit for him as well, so he joined FarmHouse in the fall of 1981.
Paul had always enjoyed livestock and raised Columbia/Hampshire cross sheep for show lambs during high school, which he sold to help pay for tuition. During his time in FarmHouse, he remained interested in livestock and decided to apply to veterinarian school.
It was after his decision not to go to vet school after being accepted on the first try that his parents realized something might be amiss with Paul. They became increasingly concerned and later realized he had symptoms of bipolar disorder.
He struggled with his mental illness, but was able to manage it with medication. After choosing not to go to vet school, he changed his major and graduated with undergraduate and master’s degrees in biology.
He then joined the Air Force as a captain and was very successful. However, he once again began to struggle with his bipolar disorder and decided to leave the military.
He returned to CSU to continue his education and lived in a small cabin near campus that his parents owned. It was at this time Paul re-connected with FarmHouse.
“He would ride his bike to the FarmHouse chapter for meals and conversation. The men were there for Paul when he needed people around him,” Dallas said.
However, his struggle with his mental illness continued and became more difficult. “In 2002, Paul made the tragic decision to stop his medications for his bipolar disorder and, shortly thereafter, took his own life,” Dallas recalled.
“After Paul’s death, the men of the Colorado State Chapter were a big help to our family. They initially assisted with the upkeep and remodel of Paul’s cabin. And they have helped us keep it maintained ever since,” Dallas said.
He added, “This is something the chapter continues to do even though they are too young to have known Paul.”
This has made such an impact on the Powells that they wanted to show their appreciation of FarmHouse and repay the men for all the support they have given their family.
Since their son did not have a family of his own, Dallas and Brenda wanted to find a way to honor their son into the future. FarmHouse meant a great deal to Paul and it has come to mean a lot to them as well. To remember him, and make provisions for what would have been Paul’s portion of their estate, they established the “Paul Dallas Powell Memorial Endowment Fund” with the FarmHouse Foundation.
Reflecting on why they chose to donate, Dallas said, “We wanted to show our appreciation, and we are continuously impressed with the goals and objectives of the Fraternity, as well as the Foundation’s mission to Build the Leaders of Tomorrow. We want to give the men of FarmHouse a hand up, not a hand out, by financially supporting them in meaningful ways.”
The purpose of the Paul Dallas Powell Memorial Endowment Fund is to provide funding for chapter housing, leadership training and/or academic scholarships for both the Colorado State and Texas Tech chapters where it is most needed. Colorado State was important in Paul’s life and Dallas has always had a strong bond with his alma mater, Texas Tech, so they felt it was appropriate to support both chapters.
“When I attended Texas Tech, the FarmHouse chapter had not been established yet. I worked at the University’s beef barn and was allowed to live there with eight other men for free. Looking back, this felt like my mini-FarmHouse during college,” Dallas said.
The Powells’ generous cash donations and estate commitment are part of the Foundation’s Live. Learn. Lead.—The Campaign for FarmHouse and the 100 Legacies in the Making Campaign.
The Powells’ aspiration for their endowment is to reward those who have made a commitment to their future, and they believe that the men of FarmHouse stand by this.
“We want to help those who have set goals for their future,” Dallas said.
The Powells feel assured that the men of FarmHouse will carry on Paul’s legacy, and that when someone reaches out a hand for help, the men of FarmHouse will be there, just like they have been for their family.